For Immediate Release - May 21, 2010

Roxbury Pharmacist Indicted for Fraudulently Billing MassHealth $555,502 for Prescriptions He Never Dispensed

BOSTON - A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned 51 indictments against a former Roxbury pharmacist in connection with an investigation that found he fraudulently billed MassHealth $555,502 for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) medications that were never prescribed by a doctor or dispensed from his Egleston Square Pharmacy. Aloysius Chukwukere Nsonwu, age 63, of Roslindale, was indicted on Medicaid False Claims submitted to MassHealth (18 counts), Larceny by False Pretenses over $250 from MassHealth (18 counts), Medicaid False Claims submitted to the MassHealth Boston Medical Center HealthNet Program (5 counts), Larceny by False Pretenses over $250 from the MassHealth Neighborhood Health Plan (2 counts), and Conspiracy to submit Medicaid False Claims (1 count).

The Attorney General's Office began an investigation after the matter was referred by MassHealth's Provider Compliance unit. According to authorities, Nsonwu was the owner and sole officer of Egleston Square Pharmacy, Inc., located at 3090 Washington Street in Roxbury and is an eligible MassHealth provider. As a result of the Attorney General's investigation, the Massachusetts Board of Pharmacy suspended Nsonwu's license to practice pharmacy in March.

According to authorities, between December 22, 2004 and January 2009, Nsonwu submitted claims for dispensing these HIV medications to MassHealth using the identification numbers of 25 different MassHealth members. Each claim listed a prescribing physician on those claims who never treated those patients or prescribed those medications.

On March 25, Nsonwu was arrested by members of the State Police and was subsequently arraigned in West Roxbury District Court where he entered a plea of not guilty to district court charges he fraudulently billed MassHealth for over $300,000 for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) medications that were never prescribed by a doctor or dispensed from his Egleston Square Pharmacy. He was ordered held on $50,000 cash bail.

A Suffolk County Grand Jury returned the indictments yesterday. Nsonwu is scheduled to appear in Suffolk Superior Court to be arraigned on the Superior Court charges on June 1.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Michael Ahearn of Attorney General Coakley's Medicaid Fraud Division. It was investigated by Investigator Brian Robinson, also of the Medicaid Fraud Division, and Trooper Jose Cuevas from the Massachusetts State Police, with assistance from the Boston office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General.

##########